It was a glorious Easter service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. I managed to get a pretty good seat, despite the crowds, and just soaked up the music and liturgy. Music was definitely the high point – the choir, the organ, and the two artists-in-residence, Paul Winter and Judy Collins.
Winter’s clarinet solos were warm and rich. The warm part was much-needed, as the temperature inside the cathedral was about 10 degrees cooler than the 30 degrees outside. Brrrr. Judy Collins looked a little frail, but her voice was strong as ever. She sang a solo, then lead us all in singing “Amazing Grace.” Yet another thing I can add to my resume: “Have sung ‘Amazing Grace’ with Judy Collins.”
The only down-side (beside the temperature of the cathedral) was all the incense. Sheesh! Just when the smoke would clear, the guy with the smokin’ purse would swing more my way. Cough-cough. I’m just not a bells-and-smells person, and I don’t come from a bells-and-smells parish. But my walk home after the service cleared all the incense out of my hair, clothes, and lungs.
It was more of a concert than a worship experience for me. I need my Atlanta family around me for that, at least at Easter and Christmas. But I’m very glad I rolled out of bed and made my way over the Cathedral this cold Easter morning.